Friday, October 31, 2014

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in Athens yesterday (30.10). The two officials discussed all the open issues that threaten security in the wider region as well as issues related to Ukraine.

Greece spends more than 2% of its GDP on defense, despite its financial difficulties - one of four countries in NATO which spends such a high amount - Samaras said. Referring to the crisis in Syria and Iraq and the terrorist activities of the jihadists, Samaras pointed out this challenge cannot be handled only with military means and that the mechanisms of partnership and the Mediterranean dialogue should be used for this purpose.

On his part, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Greece for its "unwavering support" to the Alliance, despite the country’s economic hardship. During his visit, Stoltenberg also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Defence Minister Dimitrios Avramopoulos.

More information: Prime Minister’s Statements (in Greek, 30.10.2014)

We live in Athens, we "breathe" Athens every day. The question is: how well does a traveller get to know this city? Luckily, one has many options and sources. "I’m an Aθenian too" is a campaign, which uses social media, certain applications and abundant multimedia material to promote the city. 

It has been launched by Marketing Greece, a not-for-profit organisation, established to promote tourism in the country. The same organisation also runs Discover Greece, a destination and experience-oriented travel portal in five languages with 3,000 photographs and 60 thematic videos. The Strategic Planning 2021 schedule sets a high but feasible target, according to which, by 2021, the annual tourist arrivals into Greece will exceed 24 million.

On November 4 - 8, the South Hill Park Arts Centre, a multi-purpose arts centre in Berkshire, UK, will host an exciting reworking of the Greek tragedy Electra, staged by the Found Space theatre company. "If you are a drama baby and enjoy life and death hanging in the balance then Greek Tragedy is for you," says director Bart Lee. After the success of Antigone, Found Space return to the gallery fusing theatre with art to retell the famous bloody tale of revenge. 

The plot is more or less known; in Greek mythology, Electra was the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra. She and her brother Orestes plotted revenge against their mother Clytemnestra and stepfather Aegisthus for the murder of their father, Agamemnon. What is less known is that Electra is the main character in two Greek tragedies, one by Sophocles and another by Euripides. Electra has not only conquered fiction. In psychology, what is known as the Electra complex is a girl’s psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father.

The 8th International Science Film Festival of Athens is running until November 7 at the Cervantes Institute. The great ancient Greek philosophers created the foundations of philosophy and sciences that influenced the spiritual world and culture from ancient times until today.

From astronomical observations of Thales, Pythagoras, Hipparchos, Aglaonikis, Archytas, and Anaximander to the poetry for the cosmogony of Hesiod and Orpheus, we observe the interaction of philosophy and literature with science. Hence, the subject of this year’s festival is the relation between science and literature, which will be studied through films, roundtable discussions, book reports, poetry, music, telescopic observations and more specific tributes.

Starting from London six years ago, and after having already visited Tokyo, New York and Toronto, "Tweed Run," the most elegant bike ride, will be held on the island of Spetses, on November 1 - 2. Participants dress up in their finest clothes, slow down their speed and enjoy the ride; they relax with aromatic tea and bask in the beauty of the countryside with authentic picnics.

During this ride, which is the synonym of style and finesse of a bygone era, tweed fabrics, vintage clothes and accessories are on the spotlight and are all encouraged as participants compete with each other for the best vintage outfit, the best vintage bicycle and the best decorated bicycle, for those who don’t own a vintage one.

Tweed Run is organised by the emblematic Poseidonion Grand Hotel, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.